The process of appointing a new UCSB Police Chief is wrapping up as the university’s search committee narrows its pool of applicants down to three prospective hopefuls.

Amy Jacobs, the administrative assistant for Operations and Special Projects for the vice chancellor of Administrative Services, said UCSB contracted Bob Murray & Associates, a search group, to find its new chief. The firm waded through the applicant pool of 43 people until they settled on eight possible candidates. The search committee then boiled those choices down to four people. One candidate, however, withdrew her eligibility for the position when she received an offer to serve as the chief of police for UC Merced, Jacobs said.

The committee places value on the students’ opinions and considers their criticisms when selecting a candidate for the position, Jacobs said.

“The search committee required the evaluation forms at these informal forums so that they could get that kind of feedback,” Jacobs said. “They think this is important. The committee also considers what the chancellor, the Police Dept. and the chair of the Academic Senate have to say about the candidates.”

Before a final decision is made, the 14-member search committee — comprised of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff — is hosting three open forums for students to meet the candidates, ask questions and provide feedback in the selection process.

Robert Brennan, the Atherton, Calif., chief of police, is scheduled for a forum today from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. in the UCen Harbor Room. This is the second event in the series, the first of which took place during last week’s open meeting with UC Police Dept. (UCPD) Captain Bill Bean.

Students can also talk to the third candidate, Jeffrey Young, the CSU Channel Islands chief of police, at the last open session for police chief candidates. Young’s forum is scheduled Thursday from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. in the UCen State Street Room.

After the completion of the forum series, the search committee will recommend its final choice for police chief candidates to Donna Carpenter, the acting vice chancellor for Administrative Services, who will make the ultimate decision.

Carpenter said there are many qualities the candidates must have in order to fulfill the expectations of UCPD chief of police.

“We’re interested in candidates who have policing experience, experience in an institution of higher learning and understands the concept of community policing,” Carpenter said.

While the length of time it takes to select a candidate depends on the discretion of the search committee, Carpenter said she expects to appoint the new chief of police May. She said she would collaborate with Chancellor Yang in her decision.

Although only three students attended the first open session, Bean gave a background on his career experiences and responded to questions they asked. He said he was suited for the position because of his knowledge of the community.

“My longevity is an asset,” Bean said. “I’ve been here [since 1975] and seen people come and go. I have established great rapport with the people on campus and had the benefit of working with my predecessor in the command staff for 18 years. I’ve had a hand in the external mannerisms of the department through interactions with students, staff and faculty.”

Bean also said theft is major problem for the department, but he could provide tangible solutions.

“We have a large bicycle population,” he said. “The number one issue on campus is bike theft. The new trend is laptop theft, and it’s a national trend. We are trying to increase outreach on crime prevention. Our programming extends to residence halls where we’re teaching students how to properly secure their property.”

Bean has served as the acting chief of police from October 2000 to February 2002 and from November 2003 to the present. Bean served as the interim top cop after former chief John MacPherson retired in early 2004 after being diagnosed with lung cancer. MacPherson passed away this past January.